No evidence has been offered by the prosecution on nine of the charges in the case of a farmer who beat 2,500 other applicants to win the tenancy of a £1 million hilltop farm for only £1 a year.

Daniel Jones, aged 40, hit the headlines around the world in 2016 when he was named as the tenant of the National Trust-owned Parc Farm on the Great Orme headland at Llandudno.

The 2,500 applications were eventually whittled down to seven and he was chosen after presenting his business plans and demonstrating his shepherding skills.

But he has appeared before Llandudno magistrates’ court on 20 charges, some relating to alleged offences soon after he moved into the 145-acre farm.

Now nearly half the charges have been dropped including allegations of failing to notify the authorities of sheep he had received on the farm from various other locations– charges brought

under the Animal Health Act 1981 – and failing to keep an up-to-date register and inventory of the animals.

He had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Jones’s solicitor David Kirwan told district judge Gwyn Jones at a pre-trial hearing held this week: “My client is a man who is deeply upset by this whole case.

“He was “law-abiding," Mr Kirwan told Tuesday's hearing.

Mr Kirwan said the prosecution, after trading standards visited the farm, had “morphed” from animal carcasses into a series of regulatory matters.